I was visiting my family this past weekend on Anna Maria Island and was honored to meet a new relative…Chesty, an 85lb English Bulldog. He belongs to my cousin Mike and his girlfriend Summer and is named after Lieutenant General Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Although Anna Maria does not offer dog beaches, there are several rental homes and apartments that are pet friendly. Thus, Chesty, was enjoying a week’s vacation…complete with an easy access salt water pool, cool tile floors and three bedrooms from which to choose.
Needless to say, it was hot this weekend. Certainly too hot for a bulldog to be outside for very long. But Chesty was determined. True to his breed, he wanted to be with us all of the time and was snorting and slobbering his way through the day. That included circling and inevitably being submerged in the pool.
There is no doubt he would have sunk like a rock if we weren’t watching. Luckily, my cousin, Mike, packed his doggy life jacket which enabled Chesty to zip back and forth across the pool…like a true fish out of water.
Life jackets are so important for those dogs not used to water or those being introduced to it for the first time. For chest heavy breeds like English Bulldogs, life jackets are a must have. Their bodies simply aren’t made for the water.
My recommendation is to have one of these handy if you plan to take your fur kid on a boat or have him around a pool. Especially if he is top heavy, terrified of the water, or just so enamored that he could go overboard at any time. Water + scared/nervous dogs never make a good match.
Be safe like Chesty this summer!